On May 4, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors adopted the Child Care Facilities Ordinance.  As of June 3, 2021, the Ordinance is effective in all Unincorporated areas of the County, outside of the Coastal Zone.  The Ordinance is not effective in areas of the Coastal Zone until the Ordinance is certified by the California Coastal Commission. 

The Ordinance eases and streamlines permitting requirements for child care centers by creating a ministerial approval process. The Ordinance allows child care centers in the following circumstances with a ministerial permit:

  • Within existing buildings, allowing for limited expansion, in areas zoned or designated by the General Plan for Commercial or Institutional, or Commercial Residential Mixed Use land uses.  In urban areas outside of the Coastal Zone, new buildings up to 10,000 sq. ft. may be allowed subject to further criteria.
  • Within converted single-family residences on parcels of conforming size which are zoned for Single-Family Residential land uses. 
  • Within existing or expanded institutional buildings or public facilities, as defined by the Ordinance.

Child care centers that do not meet the criteria of the Ordinance require a Use Permit. 

Learn More